Understand the values that must be preserved

As I reflected on a series of meetings I attended recently a principle seemed to synthesize in my mind. After meeting with senior leaders of a couple of international organizations I was impressed by the importance of understanding, articulating, and coming to consensus on the critical values that must be preserved if the partnership is to be successful.

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Control a 3-wire zone valve with a 2-wire thermostat

I always thought heat-only thermostats needed only two wires (red and white), until this week when I decided to switch from my old school round Honeywell T-26 thermostat to digital programmable thermostats. Off to Home Depot to buy some Honeywell RTH2300B Digital Programmable 5-2 Day Thermostats. After installing one I discovered that it called for heat but never shut it off. That's because the thermostats I bought lack support for the third wire (B, blue) on my Honeywell V2008A zone valves, the wire that closes the valve.

Tabletop Onager

A few weeks ago I built a tabletop trebuchet. After playing with it my sons and I decided we needed another machine to hurl our balls back to the trebuchet. Rather than build another trebuchet I decided to build another seige engine. After reviewing the different specimens from the different categories of seige engines (counter weight, tension, and torsion) a torsion powered machine seemed like it would be neat. Since this would be my first torsion machine I decided to build an onager.

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Important Solutions Warrant Proper Analysis Prior to Product Evaluation

I can't count the number of times a customer has started a brand new program/project request by asking me to implement a solution instead of solve a problem. Usually it comes in the form of, "Would you install XYZ application for us?" or better yet, "Does our environment support Ruby on Rails?"

Tabletop Trebuchet

I was walking through Home Depot with my six year old son. As we walked around the store looking for a toilet seat I had the thought, "I bet my boys would have fun with a little trebuchet." I know, strange isn't it. Anyway, I had an idea of how I would build it so I bought some pieces of wood and we headed home to make it. After a quick Google search and some sketching on my white board my boys and I headed to the workshop.

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Assimilated by the iPhone Borg

I took the plunge, got the iPhone 3G [S] as a gift for Father's Day.

A big thank you to Saferating, Inc. who picked up the tab on the monthly data plan. Without your contribution, this missionary was going w/pen & notebook for scheduling.

The award for best feedback from the challenge goes to K. Hokanson, "Productivity and distraction have nothing to do with the device." So true.

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